Sep 13, 2022
When it comes to eating to promote muscle hypertrophy, muscle repair/recovery and maintenance of mass and function, protein has been an obvious focus. Indeed muscle mass and quality are dependent on the continuous remodeling of skeletal muscle proteins. This is related to the amount of muscle protein balance, i.e. the net difference between muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and muscle protein breakdown (MPB). Because of this, MPS has long been used as a proxy measure for muscle repair and/or growth of muscle.
Protein feeding increases MPS, with the amino acid leucine having a specifically strong impact on MPS. Therefore both the dose of protein and the amino acid profile of the protein have been looked at to assess which protein sources are “superior” for muscle mass and function. This has typically led to viewing animal proteins as better than plant proteins.
But many assumptions are layered into conversations on the topic. In this episode we explore some important points that are often neglected. Is MPS as reliable as we assume? Does the amino acid profile tell us everything about the anabolic effect of a protein? Does dose and timing matter as much as we think? How does the picture change when we look at whole foods or mixed meals?