Soy blunts post-training testosterone and might negatively impact muscle gains

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In this episode, I dissect a 2013 study showing that soy protein blunts increases in post-resistance training testosterone in men (PMID 24015701). I discuss the implications of this finding in the context of a meta-analysis that suggests that soy does not affect testosterone in men (PMID 33383165), as well as the debate about the role of post-exercise hormonal changes in exercise adaptation to resistance exercise (PMID 24136137). Finally, I discuss a recent study showing no difference between plant and animal protein in exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy (PMID 33599941), namely its having been conducted in untrained individuals in whom the magnitude of "newbie gains" will tend to overwhelm and negate small effects that might the differences in protein quality (i.e. whey versus soy) may have on muscle hypertrophy. I argue that for intermediate and advanced trainees, an evidence gap continues to exist that requires mechanistic considerations to "fill" until appropriate randomized controlled trial data becomes available to better inform our decisions.


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