Maintaining strength is an important key to preventing age-related functional decline. Research out of Brazil shows one way to do that is to engage in a resistance exercise program and to supplement the diet with soy protein.
For this study, 32 postmenopausal women began resistance exercise training 2-3 times per week. Half of the women were asked to consume a cup of milk after exercise and the other half were asked to consume milk but to which had been added 25 grams of soy protein. At the 16 week study period, both groups of women experienced increases in muscle mass and strength. However, women who consumed soy protein had significantly greater gains in strength for bench press and knee extension and for all 8 exercises combined.
The amount of soy protein added to the diet – 25 grams per day – is notable because research suggests that at this intake level, soy protein will lower both cholesterol and blood pressure. These benefits make adding soyfoods and soy protein to the diet an especially good choice for women wanting to become stronger.
Typically, soyfoods provide anywhere from 6 to 15 grams of protein per serving. So it is relatively easy to add 25 grams of soy protein to the diet. For those not wanting to eat soyfoods, two scoops of soy powder (isolated soy protein) provide about 25 grams of protein.