Soy protein foods come in a variety of forms and flavors to suit just about everyone’s tastes and needs. Soy protein foods can include items like tofu, soy-based burgers, shakes, bars, pasta, snacks and much more.
While soy protein foods can be eaten by just about everyone to meet their daily nutritional needs, it often seems like many endurance athletes do not realize that soy protein is an excellent choice for optimizing their workouts.
While many fitness enthusiasts focus on carbohydrates for their energy source during endurance exercises (running, cycling, etc), there is a growing awareness that combining carbohydrates with protein can optimize performance.
Research studies have suggested that by consuming carbohydrates combined with protein before or during exercise, fitness enthusiasts can boost performance and enhance muscle recovery. While most of the research has focused on whey protein, one new study shows that soy provides the same fitness benefits for endurance workouts (1).
In this study, recreational cyclists were asked to ride at stationary bike for 60 minutes at 60% of their maximal oxygen consumption, after which they were asked to complete a time-to-exhaustion ride at 90% of maximal oxygen consumption.
The riders were provided with either  60 grams of carbohydrates,  52.5 grams of carbohydrates plus 15 grams of soy protein, or  a placebo every 20 minutes during their ride. Compared to the placebo, the carbohydrates + soy protein improved endurance by 84% and increased time to exhaustion from 4 minutes to 7.5 minutes. Furthermore, the combination of carbohydrates + soy protein boosted endurance by 37% and increased time to exhaustion by approximately 2 minutes compared to the carbohydrate alone.
This study clearly shows the benefits of soy protein foods for optimizing endurance workouts. While most soy foods could likely provide these benefits, getting 15 grams of protein as used in this study (or more if needed) is typically easier with items like soy bars and shakes.
Soy bars and shakes can easily provide this amount of protein in a convenient, easily carried form, making them ideal for your next bike ride. Additionally, soy protein is rich in branched chain amino acids, which have been reported to help fuel our muscles and help delay muscle fatigue.
Whether you are a recreational athlete or more serious athlete, consuming carbohydrates combined with soy protein foods like soy bars and soy shakes can optimize your endurance workout. Revival soy bars and soy shakes contain 20 grams of protein, making them an ideal complement to your fitness activities.
Ghosh AK, Rahaman AA, Singh R. Combination of sago and soy-protein supplementation during endurance cycling exercise and subsequent high-intensity endurance capacity. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, Exercise & Metabolism 2010; 20(3):216-223.