Vegetarians used to be out of luck when it came to finding solid sources of protein.
The truth is that most plentiful sources come from animal-based products – like chicken, beef, turkey, etc.
And the rest typically come from milk-based products (an issue for those who are lactose intolerant).
Needless to say, vegetarians looking to build muscle had to shovel heaps of beans and other natural plant-based foods into their mouths each day in order to fuel their bodies with the proper amount of protein.
Thankfully, times have changed.
Now, there are protein supplements that are made specifically for vegetarians.
These supplements provide approximately the same amount of protein-per-serving as other popular milk-based supplements.
And they’re not outrageously expensive.
One of the plant-based protein supplements currently available on the market is Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Soy Protein.
And in the next few paragraphs, we’re going to take an in-depth look at this product and determine whether you should consider it when looking for an alternative vegetarian-friendly protein supplement.
Soybeans consist of 38% protein. That fact is why they’re often the number one food choice for vegetarians looking to build muscle mass.
They’re also one of the few vegetable proteins that contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs for optimal growth and health.
However, supplementing your diet with enough soybeans to cover your protein needs would be both expensive and inefficient. You’d simply have to eat way too many soybeans each day.
So, in order to take advantage of the many benefits (see below) that soy protein offers the body, Optimum Nutrition developed a product that delivers a concentrated serving of soy protein to meet consumers’ daily dietary needs.
Their product supplies your body with 25g of vegetarian-friendly protein per serving, and without any cholesterol or lactose.
Optimum Nutrition is known for performing extensive research for each product they produce.
So it’s no surprise that their research into soy-based protein has resulted in a product that features a few key benefits for fitness enthusiasts:
Soybeans are naturally higher in fat content. ON has taken the necessary measures and developed a soy protein isolation process that removes a large percentage of the fat – leaving consumers with high protein intake and low-fat content.
As we touched on earlier, soybeans are one of the few vegetable sources that contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs for optimal health. These amino acids still remain in ON’s finished product.
In isolated form, Optimum Nutrition provides consumers with a concentrated source of soy protein (25g total). That’s only four grams less than the amount you get in a whole cup of cooked soybeans.
While Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Soy Protein has several benefits we like, there are also a couple of things we don’t particularly care for.
This particular soy product dissolves poorly, no matter the mixing agent. As a result, the drink tends to be on the gritty side. If texture bothers you, you may want to consider another product.
This is more of a general negative against soy protein, and not against Optimum Nutrition’s product.
Soy protein is not nearly as effective as whey protein for both muscle building and weight loss. It’s not absorbed as fast nor does it provided the same amount of health benefits.
If your stomach can handle it, we recommend you go with whey.
ON’s 100% Soy Protein contains no lactose and cholesterol – meaning it’s very heart healthy and can easily be consumed and digested by those who are lactose intolerant.
There are no sugars or saturated fat (the bad kind of fat) in this product. The less of those two, the better.
This is THE alternative for vegetarians. It’s plant-based protein at its finest.