T Nation


Hi all. While cruising the forum lately, I have been noticing an increasing number of people making references to the soy in their diets. At first this confused me, but then I realized something. Growth.

As Testoserone magazine gets bigger (read: more popular) T-Nation is growing in leaps and bounds. We are gaining more and more members everyday, and this has quite obviously had carryover to the forum. It occurs to me that we have a lot of new people here.

Because they have not been here long, they may or may not have learned a few bits of important information that those of us who have been here a while take for granted and accept as fact.

One of these bits of information is concerning Soy proteins. So, for those of you who do not know, here is a very brief synopsis:

Soy protein is estrogenic. It contains phytoestrogens, which, to put it bluntly classifies soy as something we may want to avoid. This means it bonds to certain estrogen receptors and has certain feminizing efferts. Remember, in our word, Testosterone gooooood, estrogren baaaaad. In body building terms, the consumption of soy in great amounts makes it harder to build muscle or lose fat. It is a bit counter productive to our goals, then, no?

I should mention that there are several people, even people on this board, who make soy a staple in their diet and still have great physiques. Mike Mahler, for example, follows a vegan diet, eats lots of soy, and you can see from his pictures in the photo forum that he's by now means "feminine." Of course, this guy plays with balls all day. Sure, call 'em kettlebells, but they still look like balls to me. (Just kidding Mike!) Anyway...

However, keep in mind that I did not say that soy will make it impossible for you to build a great physique; the science merely suggests that it makes it harder to do so.

So, consider this a Public Service Announcement. Essentially, this post is for people who do/did not know the background on the hatred of soy on this board. For those of you who did know all about soy and it's effects and choose to eat it anyway, more power to you. More meat for me. But, for the new guys, if you were only eating soy because you had heard it was "healthy" and cutting it out of your diet is not a big deal for you, I suggest you do so.

Of course, I do not expect you to take my word for it, nor do I want that. I would much rather you read it for yourself. Here is a direct quote from TCs article on Soy: "...testicular cell death." HA! I bet that got your attention. What's the rest of the quote? Well, you'll just have to go read the articles for yourself. Here are the links:




I'd like to think this will benefit some people, otherwise I've just wasted a whole lot of forum space. If you haven't read them, give the articles a look and make the decision for yourself. Good luck all; hope this helps.

Hi John
Thanks for thinking about us new guys to the site. I have been lurking here on the forum for about a month and reading the back issues for about six months. I?m not new to the weight game but I wanted to take this opportunity to jump in and introduce myself to myself…errrr
Anyways thanks for giving me the opening and I look forward to getting bigger and stronger.


Methinks JR may have inadvertently hit on a good idea - periodic updates for the newbies by those of us who’ve been around here a bit longer. Hmm…

you are a funny giy and hey leave my balls off the forum :slight_smile: Regarding Soy, I have to admit that I am skeptical. Not to say that the guys at t-mag are wrong, but coming from my own experience, I have not had any problems with Soy and I am a heal of lot stronger then the average American meat eater who quite simply looks like shit. With everything, except sex of course, moderation is the way to go. Thus, I would not recommend eating a ton of soy, but I would not have a heart attack if you find soy as one of the ingrendients on some product that you consume.

The phytoestrogens aren’t in Isolated Soy Protein powders only in regular Soy. Isolated Soy Protein is a complete protein with factors that can increase and maintain the body’s metabolic rate, so it can be especially beneficial during dieting.

Let me attest to the evils of soy. About a year ago, I went on a 6 week bulking cycle eating only clean foods and incorporated “soy protein” as my liquid protein meals at school. I went from like 8% to 13% bf is 6 weeks and put on virtually no muscle, despite the fact that I was doing a killer bench and deadlift mass program.

Since then, I've read a ton of stuff on soy, like the articles that John mentioned, and knocked it out of my diet. I've never topped 11% since then, ever, even though some of my bulking diets have consisted of a lot of "cheat" foods...soy really really is not a good thing...soy is bad.

I agree…especially with the sex part.

While not a vegan, I have to agree with Mike Mahler regarding the soy intake. I myself use a little soy milk daily. Does it mar my progress in the weight room? No. I’m currently 180-ish and 8% bodyfat. I do think that if soy were your only protein source then yes, maybe it could cause problems. But c’mon everybody, don’t sweat the small stuff! Lighten up!

If you read the labels to most if not all soy protein isolate products you’ll read a disclaimer on the packaging that will say something like “Soy contains phytoestrogens which are similar to human estrogens.” Etc. We all know the rest but the thing is even soy protein isolates (being the complete proteins that they are) still have the phytoestrogens as well.

Although it’s estrogenic effects could be considered controversial it’s effects on thyroid activity are not. Every study I’ve seen that looked at the relationship shows that soy decreases T3 which could explain fat gain.

I’m gonna have to repent in sackcloth and ashes on this one. The man who told me this is a salesman who bullshitted me about a scientific reference for it. So there seems to be merit to the theory that even the best quality soy proteins today are shit.

Dear Sir, Though I’ve no previous interaction with you, not having co-created with you any sort of T-Cell in the New York City and Metro area, I can comment as a completely objective reader of your post. I applaud the timliness and clarity of your post. You’ve stated an important concept in reader-friendly terms and subsequently opened up a pathway towards intelligent conversation. My response herein serves two main purposes; One (1), to bump this thread so others may view it with optimal supression of thread-surf time and Two (2) in order to reassert the fact that you, sir, are a sock puppet. Sock. Puppet.

MBE: "Roaming the wastelands of the forbidden gnome provinces since ...."



I was lucky enough to attend the SWIS Symposium this year and John Berardi did a very convincing job of proving why Soy is an inferior protein and should not be included in the diet of an individual interested in gaining muscle.

The study outlined that ingestion of Soy showed increases in the catabolic markers that generally signal muscle breakdown. These markers were detected by urine sample.

I’m sorry I can’t offer the exact reference, but it is a fairly prominant study and should be referenced in one of the above article links.

There’s really no reason for someone who eats a clean diet to supplement with soy. I challenge anyone to come up with one.