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Scientific Updates /

Soya protein is effective for building muscle mass and strength

24 January 2022


Original research

Study overview

Athletes sometimes hold the misconception that animal-based proteins, particularly whey protein, are more effective than soya protein for building muscle mass and strength. To test this hypothesis, a 12-week intervention study was carried out to determine whether there is a difference between increases in muscle strength and lean body mass in response to resistance training when consuming either soya or whey protein supplements.()

Study participants consumed either 19 grams of whey protein isolate or 26 grams of soya protein isolate, both equivalent to 2g of the amino acid leucine, an important amino acid essential for muscle-building. Participants’ body weight, lean mass and muscular strength were assessed at baseline and following a 12-week resistance training program.

Key findings

Following the intervention, the researchers observed:

  • Lean mass and muscular strength increased in both groups

  • Fat mass and body fat percentage decreased in both groups

  • There was no significant difference between individuals supplemented with soya protein or with whey protein

The authors suggest that the main driver for building muscle strength is the combination of adequate protein intake with sufficient leucine alongside resistance training.


This study shows that consuming soya protein alongside resistance training can support muscle strength and mass comparably to whey protein.


  1. Lynch HM, Buman MP, Dickinson JM, et al. No Significant Differences in Muscle Growth and Strength Development When Consuming Soy and Whey Protein Supplements Matched for Leucine Following a 12 Week Resistance Training Program in Men and Women: A Randomized Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(11):3871.

Original research

The muscle power of soya

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