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Benefits of Soy Protein Shakes

By Linda Ray

Soy protein powder that makes up soy shakes is made from soybeans that are high in protein. Soybeans are a member of the pea family and are indigenous to southeast Asia. Soy contains isoflavones, protein and fiber. It is an excellent source of amino acids from protein. Soy also provides the body with lecithin and has a number of healthy benefits, report doctors at the Mayo Clinic.

Heart Health

Doctors at the Center for Science in the Public Interest report that soy is an excellent means to lower cholesterol levels. Soy mixed with isoflavones in a soy protein shake can lower LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 10 percent. Soy isoflavones are phytoestrogens that can protect the heart by dilating coronary arteries. Research is still out whether soy shakes prevent or increase the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, so researchers recommend they refrain from using soy shakes to lower cholesterol levels. Men, on the other hand, can benefit greatly from drinking one soy protein shake per day.

Weight Loss

While protein has calories and some soy protein shakes are high in sugar and flavoring, properly used, soy protein shakes can be used to compliment a weight loss program, report doctors at the Mayo Clinic. Protein intake can help to reduce appetite and help dieters feel full for longer periods of time. A soy protein shake with added minerals and vitamins could be substituted for a meal occasionally to maintain health while lowing food intake. As long as most of the day's nutrients come from whole foods, soy protein shakes can provide a healthy adjunct to a weight loss program. The average adult requires 46 to 54g of protein per day, so if calorie restrictions limit protein consumption, soy shakes can help provide the needed protein.

Reduce Hot Flashes

Drinking a soy protein shake mixed with milk or water helps relieve hot flashes in some women during menopause. Researchers at the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine report that while some studies support that benefit to women who experience hot flashes, there is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the use of soy shakes and supplements for the purpose.

Build Muscles

In an article at Energise for Life, doctors from Oklahoma State University report that soy protein can help to build lean muscle. Soy also can enhance muscle recovery leading to bigger bulk in bodybuilders. Soy can reduce the inflammation caused by weight lifters who put their muscles through intense workouts, leading to bigger muscles and more pain-free workouts. Recreational and professional athletes alike can benefit from adding a soy protein-packed shake to their daily diet.

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