Plant-Based Protein Just As Good As Whey for Building Muscle, New Study Finds

Vegetarians experience the same muscle gains using a plant protein powder as omnivores that use whey, finds a new study from Brazil published in a scientific journal. sports medicine. The study aimed to determine the effects of dietary protein sources (exclusively on a vegetarian basis versus a mixed carnivore diet) on changes in muscle mass and strength in healthy young men who do strength training.

Led by Hamilton Ruschel, PhD, of the Applied Physiology and Nutrition Research Group at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, the study recruited 38 men, 19 of whom were carnivores and 19 vegetarians with an average age of 25. The participants were placed in a supervised weight training program consisting of two weekly training sessions. for three months.

During the training program, participants consumed 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight with vegetarians taking a soy protein supplement and omnivores taking a whey protein supplement. Dietary intake was monitored every four weeks during the study. The results of the study showed that lean muscle mass, full muscle, muscle fiber cross-sectional areas, as well as leg pressure at a maximum of one repetition, all significantly increased in both groups, with no difference between vegetarians and omnivores.

The study showed that a vegan diet consisting of whole foods and soy protein supplements was as effective as a fiery mixed whole foods diet and whey protein supplement to support muscle building and strength. The results may encourage those who do strength training to consider using plant-based protein supplements instead.

“A high-protein, plant-based diet (plant-based whole foods plus soy protein isolate supplement) is no different from a mixed protein-matched diet (mixed whole foods plus whey protein supplement) in supporting muscle strength and overall buildup, indicating that a source of Protein does not affect the adaptations induced by resistance training in untrained young adults who consume adequate amounts of protein.”

Plant protein builds muscle

The study results challenge the notion that an exclusively plant-based diet is less efficient than a diet that includes animal products in supporting muscle building. Traditionally, whey protein is the perfect choice of protein for building muscle. However, researchers have determined in recent years that animal-derived protein is not superior to plant-based protein.Vegetarian News

A 2017 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition It was found that dietary proteins derived from plant sources do not differ from those from meat sources. Among 3,000 participants with diverse dietary habits, higher protein intake improved overall musculoskeletal health, and the dietary protein source—vegetarian or animal—was not relevant.

“We know that dietary protein can improve muscle mass and strength,” lead researcher Kelsey M. Mangano, PhD, said in a statement. “However, until now, we didn’t know if one protein food source was better than another at achieving optimal results.”

To learn more about vegan fitness, read:
A vegan bodybuilder’s guide to getting all the nutrients you need
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8 ways vegetarian seniors can stay active and fit

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