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Why soy milk is a great pre- and post-workout drink

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That’s right. The proteins found in soy milk come with their own set of benefits that any fitness enthusiast would love. This includes aiding in muscle growth, helping to improve heart health and increasing the level of antioxidants in the body.

If you enjoy staying in shape - or even just caring for your body by tracking what you eat and drink - then you will want to take note of these fantastic health benefits of drinking more soy milk.

Soy promotes muscle growth and recovery

For anyone looking to bulk up, burn fat or tone their bodies, muscle growth and recovery are key to having productive exercise routines. Soy milk, like all soy-based foods, provides the body with high-quality protein that can help build and repair muscles.

According to soyfoods.org, soy-based foods contain complete protein, which provides amino acids needed to help build and repair muscles. Soy can also be combined with other forms of protein very easily. Whey and casein are two examples of proteins often mixed in with soy protein. Some studies have shown that combining different forms of protein can lead to even better increases in lean body mass because each protein has a different amino acid absorption rate.

Other studies focused on bodybuilding have shown that soy protein can increase muscle mass during resistance training. Consumption of soy protein helps with increasing lean body mass in young male bodybuilders.

Another study focusing on post-menopausal women found that adding soy protein to a diet, when paired with weight training, increases resting energy expenditure and muscle mass. Soyfoods.org claims this shows soy protein may be just as effective in increasing strength and improving body composition as any other protein.

For those who are into more intense workouts, such as moderate to intense weight resistance, soy is often a go-to recommendation for pre-workout diets. But anyone into fitness can take soy protein for breakfast in the morning, before bed, 30 minutes before a workout and immediately following a workout or exercise routine.

Soy protein is heart-healthy

Heart health is a common reason many people are committed to keeping their bodies in shape. People who don’t exercise tend to be more at risk of heart disease - twice as likely, according to WebMD. On the other hand, those who do work out can burn calories, decrease blood pressure, decrease LDL (or bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Each of these fitness perks can benefit heart health.

Soy foods, including soy milk, are also good for your heart. This makes soy-based foods perfect for a healthy, active diet. You can thank the proteins found in soy milk for why it’s so beneficial for heart health.

These proteins are made of amino acids that can help prevent heart disease. The amino acids, combined with isoflavones also found in soy, can decrease LDL cholesterol. Soy milk can also help improve plasma lipid levels in the body, which decreases the risk of heart disease.

Plus, all the various vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fats in soymilk make it a great choice for heart health. This is even more true for anyone whose family has a history of heart health or heart disease issues.

Antioxidants in soy promote overall health

Soy foods have long been known to contain antioxidants, which the body needs in order to fight free radicals. Antioxidants do what their name suggests: They fight the oxidation process in your body. Antioxidants primarily come from plant-based foods. Some examples of antioxidants are vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene and selenium.

The main health advantage of eating foods that have high levels of antioxidants is how they fight against free radicals. Free radicals are made by the body when it processes food, sunlight and toxins, such as smoke, pollution and alcohol. With antioxidants, your body can prevent free radicals from forming or it can break them down before they do any harm.

By fighting free radicals with antioxidants, your body could be better-protected against chronic diseases that have been linked to oxidative stress. Those diseases include cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

As for fitness enthusiasts and workout warriors, exercise can actually increase the body’s production of free radicals. That’s where consuming soy protein, such as the protein found in soy milk, can help, specifically before moderate-intensity, weight resistance exercise.

Lose weight with soy milk

Weight loss is often cited as a common reason for why people choose to exercise. However, without the proper diet, weight loss can be hard even for those committed to better fitness.

Soy milk can help. The isoflavones that help with heart health also lower metabolic obesity. The monounsaturated fatty acids in soy milk also play a role by preventing intestinal absorption of fat.

There are more benefits for soy milk when it comes to watching weight, too. Soy milk is rich in fiber. That can promote a healthy BMI and good cholesterol levels. For those trying to add or maintain muscle, soy milk helps there, too, by keeping muscle mass in place while still losing weight.

Make your own soy milk at home

It’s easy to find soy milk in grocery stores, but did you know you can make delicious, healthy soy milk at home using your own soybeans?

Our Laura® Soybeans are perfect for making tasty soy milk that beats out any brand bought in stores. Use them to make your own soy milk with this easy recipe. If you want to learn how to add flavor to soy milk, then we have your covered there, too.

And when you buy from Laura® Soybeans, you can trust that your soybeans are coming from a family farm that grows, harvests and processes its own beans. It’s quality you can trust - from our farm to your table.