A new study from the University of Exeter has found that mycoprotein, naturally high-fiber fungi that are best known as Quorn, can support muscle growth during resistance training just as effectively as animal protein.
The study is the first to explore whether a vegan diet rich in mycoprotein can support muscle growth during resistance training to the same extent as an omnivorous diet.
The study is important as a growing number of adults are eating less meat and following meat-free diets.
The study was split into two phases. In the first phase, 16 healthy young adults completed a three-day diet where their protein was derived from either omnivorous or exclusively vegan sources, while detailed measures of metabolism were taken.
In phase two, 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 mycoprotein.
The team found comparable increases in muscle mass and strength in response to both diets, with no significant differences between the two.
Both groups also increased the size of their thigh muscles by the same amount (8.3%) over the course of the trial.
Based on these results, the research team concluded that a vegan diet that’s high in mycoprotein can be just as effective as a high protein omnivorous diet in building muscle during resistance training.
This study is the latest to demonstrate the potency of mycoprotein in muscle building.
A study published by the University of Exeter in 2020 found that mycoprotein builds muscle to a greater extent than milk protein, and a 2021 study concluded that a mycoprotein-rich vegan diet supports the maintenance of muscle tissue in older adults.
However, this latest study is the first to directly compare mycoprotein with an omnivorous diet, including meat, over an extended period.
The team says this study demonstrates that mycoprotein is comparable to animal proteins in terms of its ability to facilitate increases in muscle mass and strength in young adults who are regularly engaging in resistance training.
The study comes after a report found that regular widespread consumption of plant-based proteins could help reduce emissions from livestock farming, which is a major contributor to climate change.
This study builds on a growing body of independently conducted research that clearly demonstrates mycoprotein’s nutritional excellence as a complete protein with a proven ability to protect against a range of diseases and health conditions.
Overall, the study provides further evidence that a vegan diet can provide sufficient protein to support muscle growth during resistance training.
This may be of particular interest to those who are following meat-free diets for health or environmental reasons.
Eating a healthy vegan diet involves consuming a variety of plant-based foods that provide all the necessary nutrients for optimal health. Here are some tips for a healthy vegan diet:
Include a variety of whole plant foods: Eating a variety of whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, is crucial for obtaining all the nutrients your body needs.
Get enough protein: It’s important to consume enough protein from plant sources, such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products, to support muscle growth, repair, and maintenance.
Choose healthy fats: Incorporate healthy fats from sources such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olives into your diet to support brain health, hormone production, and nutrient absorption.
Incorporate fortified foods: Vegan diets can sometimes be lacking in certain nutrients such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D, so incorporating fortified plant-based milks, cereals, and supplements can help meet your nutritional needs.
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The study was conducted by Dr. Alistair Monteyne et al and published in The Journal of Nutrition.
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