Soy-based beverages are a source of high quality proteins and balanced nutrients; they thus represent an alternative to milk in case of allergy to cow milk proteins or intolerance to lactose. In this research, antioxidant properties of soy-based beverages and UHT cow milk were studied. In addition, color parameters, by a quick and non-destructive methodology, were studied in order to verify a possible correlation with antioxidant properties and a qualitative analysis of the major functional groups undertaken by Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) on Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) was carried out. Extractable and hydrolysable polyphenols were studied in soy-based beverages. However, only the extractable fraction was studied in UHT milk, which was characterized by a small amount of polyphenols. All color parameters showed highly significant differences among soy-based beverages and between soy-based beverages and cow milk. FTIR-ATR spectra of soy-based beverages and cow milk showed several differences in the various regions depending on both the specific contribution of molecular groups and different food items.