Studies have shown that plant protein is just as effective at promoting muscle growth as animal protein

Fungus-derived mycoprotein is just as effective as animal protein in supporting muscle growth during resistance training, according to new research from the University of Exeter.

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The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, is the first to explore whether a plant-based diet rich in mycoprotein — a naturally high-fiber fungus using products from plant-based meat brand Quorn — can be used during resistance training Supports muscle growth just as much as an omnivorous diet. At the same time, more and more adults are eating less meat. The latest figures show that around 7.2 million adults are currently on a meat-free diet.

The randomized trial was divided into two phases: In the first phase, 16 healthy young adults completed a three-day diet of protein derived from omnivorous or plant-based sources (mainly Quorn’s fungal protein) while taking Detailed metabolic measures. In the second phase, 22 healthy young adults completed a 10-week high-volume progressive resistance training program while consuming a high-protein omnivorous diet or a vegan diet rich in mycoproteins.

The results showed that both diets responded with comparable increases in muscle mass and strength, with no significant differences between the two. The high-protein omnivorous diet group gained 2.6 kg, while the plant-based diet group gained 3.1 kg. Both groups also increased their thigh muscles by the same amount (8.3 percent) over the course of the trial.

Based on these results, the team concluded that a plant-based diet rich in mycoprotein was as effective as a high-protein omnivorous diet in resistance training.

This study is the latest to demonstrate the effectiveness of mycoprotein in building muscle, with research published by the University of Exeter in 2020 finding that mycoprotein builds muscle better than milk protein, and a 2021 study concluding, A plant-based diet rich in mycoprotein aids in the maintenance of muscle tissue in older adults. However, this latest study is the first to directly compare mycoproteins with an omnivorous diet (including meat), and did so during a 10-week “free-living” period in participants’ daily lives.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Alistair Montagnier, the researcher who conducted the trial at the University of Exeter, said:
“It is well known that adherence to a high-protein diet builds muscle. However, it was not previously clear whether diets of non-animal origin and non-animal-derived protein sources, such as Quorn’s mycoprotein, were as effective as omnivorous diets and animal-derived protein sources, Supports muscle building during resistance training. Our research shows that mycoproteins are comparable to animal proteins in their ability to promote gains in muscle mass and strength in young adults who engage in regular resistance training. We now have substantial evidence that mycoproteins are important in supporting muscle maintenance and There is probably more evidence for effective protein foods for growth than any other alternative protein source.”

Earlier, a report by researchers at the University of Exeter found that regular, widespread consumption of plant-based protein could be one of three “super-leverage points” that could lead to a climate change breakthrough by reducing emissions from the livestock sector.

Tim Finnigan, scientific advisor to Quorn Foods, said: “At a time when more and more people are following official dietary advice and eating less meat for the sake of their health and the planet, a high-quality meat-free protein scientifically proven to increase muscle mass is a positive. , achieving ratios comparable to any animal-derived protein. This research builds on a growing body of independent research that is believed to be the largest of any alternative protein available, clearly Demonstrating the nutritional excellence of mycoprotein as a complete protein, it has been shown to protect against a range of diseases and conditions.”