4 min read

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Soy

At Soylent, we live and breathe for soy. Soy isolate is the core of our meal replacement shakes and drinks for many reasons. And, we love it for more than its silky smooth texture.

We want you to be as big of a fan of soy as we are. So, we’re going to do a deep dive into soy so you can understand why we chose it as the best base for you to get a great tasting, meat alternative.

What is soy?

Soy protein is made from mashing the soy legume and separating the protein from the fiber and fat of the bean. Soy protein is an excellent source of highly digestible, lean, plant-based protein that equals any protein source on the planet.

At Soylent, we harness the power of soy protein isolate. So, what’s that?

Soy protein isolates are engineered to isolate their protein, creating a more concentrated form of lean, plant-based protein that matches (or beats) any protein made from an animal.

Soy as protein.

As you might remember from our previous deep dive, protein is an essential part of our daily nutritional intake. It plays a major part in the composition and function of our body.

Typically, protein comes from sources such as red meat, eggs, seafood, and more. But, some of these common sources of protein are surrounded by high levels of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.

So, while steak tastes absolutely amazing and is a great source of protein, too much of it can start to wreak havoc on your body.

This kind of protein is next only to the protein we get from animal foods, many of which contain high levels of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.

Why we chose soy.

Does Soylent have soy? Yes. At Soylent, we use soy protein isolate as the core of our powders, drinks, and more. Soy protein isolate has great bioavailability, which is why we chose it as the base for all of our meal replacement shakes and drinks. A food's bioavailability is the level at which it is absorbed into the digestive system. And, according to the Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score, soy isolate has a score of 1.0, the highest possible score it can get. In addition to being the only plant-based protein that scored this well, we also chose soy isolate because of its smooth, consistent texture. It creates the optimal flavor profile and health benefits.

To further our investigation of the best source of protein, we tested it against many others of its kind. Here’s what we found:

Whey, casein, and egg whites.

All three of these have an equal bioavailability score to soy protein isolate but have other drawbacks. These options are derived from animal products, so they typically use more resources to be produced than plant-based proteins.


Hemp has a bioavailability score of only 0.65, meaning it is less bioavailable than soy. It also typically has a gritty texture, as well as an earthy and green taste.


Similar to hemp protein, pea protein has a lower bioavailability score than soy of just 0.89. It also has a strong earthy flavor and a thicker, less smooth texture.


Rice protein has a bioavailability score of 0.90 and has a rough, silty, occasionally sandy feel due to the brown rice protein. Another major downside is the amount of heavy metals rice naturally picks up from the ground (e.g. arsenic), which can be a concern for meal replacements.

It’s important to remember that soy is not entirely hypoallergenic. There is a small percentage of the population that is allergic to various types of plant-based proteins available on the market today, including soy protein isolate. Always check with your doctor to make sure you are not allergic to this form of protein.

Benefits of eating soy.

Adding more soy into your life is beneficial for many reasons. It’s a great form of protein that can add true value to your diet.

Better for your health over time.

Soy as protein can help you avoid the high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat, which can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.


Swapping protein intake from meat to soy can help save precious sources from the environment.

To put this into perspective, it takes 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, and 576 to produce one pound of pork. It only takes 216 to produce soybeans.

Stronger source of dietary fiber.

Soy-based foods are rich in fiber, which promotes a healthy gastrointestinal system, reduces cholesterol, and can help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular issues.

Soy is infused with loads of vitamins and minerals.

Soy foods are a great source of minerals and vitamins, such as Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and an array of antioxidants. These much-needed nutrients are often missing from many processed foods that we choose frequently as quick meal replacements.

How you can add more soy into your life.

As you know by now, choosing to add soy into your life can greatly benefit your diet. By swapping one meal a day with one filled with soy protein, like Soylent, you can make a positive difference in your diet and in the environment.

One of the easiest ways that you can start incorporating meal replacement drinks into your life is through breakfast. When you wake up, you’re frequently on a time crunch. Get all the nutrients you need without any prep. You’ll skip the fatty bacon biscuit and get a better jump start to your day.