Vegan protein may build muscle even better than whey.
A new study from the University of Exeter discovered that mycoprotein — the fungus-based protein used in veggie meat brand Quorn — is more effective for post-exercise muscle building than milk.
Vegan Protein Vs. Whey
Twenty healthy young men who exercise regularly were examined for the study, which evaluated how their bodies digest protein while at rest following strenuous resistance training. After exercise, the men were given either milk or the plant-based protein and their muscle-building rates were measured via staple isotope “tracers.”
The study revealed that those who had milk protein increased muscle-building rates by 60 percent, Quorn’s vegan mycoprotein more than doubled this.
“These results are very encouraging when we consider the desire of some individuals to choose non-animal derived sources of protein to support muscle mass maintenance or adaptations with training,” said Dr. Benjamin Wall, Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology at the University of Exeter.
The British Nutrition Foundation already recommends mycoprotein as a good source of dietary protein for daily consumption and exercise.
“In a world where many people are trying to cut back on their meat consumption, either for environmental or health reasons, we’re happy to be able to offer an alternative protein that can provide exceptional nutrition and muscle growth, all while being meat-free,” said Tim Finnigan, chief scientific adviser for Quorn Foods. The long-standing vegetarian meat brand announced that it would focus on launching vegan products last August in order to meet demand.
The Protein Myth
Animal-based protein like whey is considered one of the best ways to build muscle.
“The Game Changers,” an upcoming documentary produced by vegan filmmaker James Cameron, seeks to upend the myth that you need meat, dairy, and eggs to be strong. The film will feature top athletes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olympic weightlifter Kendrick Farris, five-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, Olympic silver medalist cycler Dotsie Bausch, record-holding marathoner Scott Jurek, and surf champion Tia Blanco.
“James Cameron and I have teamed up again,” Schwarzenegger wrote on Instagram last week. “This time to terminate outdated myths about protein, strength, and performance.”
Researchers feel hopeful about the result of the experiment and presented their findings at the European College of Sport Science conference.