In a new study, researchers found that mycoprotein, the protein-rich food source that is unique to Quorn products, stimulates post-exercise muscle building to a greater extent than milk protein.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Exeter.
The study evaluated the digestion of protein, which allows amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to increase in the bloodstream and then become available for muscle protein building.
This process was measured in 20 healthy, trained young men at rest and following a bout of strenuous resistance exercise.
The young men performed the exercise and were then given either milk protein or mycoprotein.
Their muscle-building rates were then measured using “tracers” in the hours following protein consumption.
Animal proteins like milk are an excellent source for muscle growth, so they provide a useful comparison for testing other protein sources.
The results showed that while those who had milk protein increased their muscle growth rates by an average of 60%, those who had mycoprotein increased their muscle growth rates by more than double this.
This shows that mycoprotein, the main ingredient in all Quorn products, maybe a more effective source of protein to promote muscle growth.
The team says that mycoprotein can stimulate muscles to grow faster in the hours following exercise compared with a typical animal comparator protein (milk protein).
These findings are very encouraging because some people choose non-animal derived sources of protein to support muscle mass maintenance or adaptations with training.
The researchers look forward to seeing whether these mechanistic findings translate into longer-term training studies in various populations.
A recent YouGov report analyzing the dietary habits of the UK population shows that 14% of people now identify as Flexitarian.
These results show that Quorn can be used as a good source of protein in a flexible diet, to suit each individual needs and goals.
The British Nutrition Foundation already recommends mycoprotein as a good source of dietary protein, both for everyday life and for sport and exercise.
However, in the UK roughly a third of total protein consumption comes from meat products—and increasing meat intake may have serious consequences for public health and for the environment.
The lead author of the study is Benjamin Wall, Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology at the University of Exeter.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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