During the 1960’s and 70’s soy protein was a popular, inexpensive supplement popular with budget-minded bodybuilders looking to expand their range of protein sources. By the 1980’s, however, it fell out of favor with those who feared its estrogen-like compounds, called isoflavones. Concerned that soy might force them into women’s competitions, male bodybuilders shunned this vegetable protein.
A study presented at the 2005 Experimental Biology conference in San Diego, California, revealed that not only did test subjects on soy protein grow as much muscle as their whey-consuming brethren, they showed no decrease in serum testosterone levels. Boys will be boys, even on soy.
Fortunately for you, soy is as plentiful as more traditional bodybuilding staples tuna and chicken, particularly at natural food grocers like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Next time you’re in L.A. you can satisfy your Jones for soy at Real Food Daily, which serves a tasty tofu wrap, along with a host of other grain protein dishes.