New research suggests that potato protein could help build muscle in a similar way to animal protein.
Most searches for fitness and bodybuilding meal plans still include foods like dairy, steak, and grilled chicken. But more and more athletes are switching to plant-based foods. Many, like Olympian runner David Verburg, cite an increase in energy after going vegan. But this new research shows that plant-based foods also have muscle-building effects.
The Alliance for Potato Research & Education funded the new study. Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands discovered that protein concentrate derived from potatoes may also support muscle repair and growth.
Published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the new study involved 24 young, healthy, active men. They drank 30 grams of potato protein or milk protein after a workout.
The researchers recognized that the small number of people was a research limitation. They also cited a lack of gender and age diversity as a drawback.
However, lead author Dr. Luc J.C. van Loon told Medical News Today: “The main outcome is that potato-derived protein ingestion can increase muscle protein synthesis rates at rest and exercise. This response does not differ from ingesting an equivalent amount of milk protein.”
Building muscle on a plant-based diet
Potatoes are not renowned for their protein content. But, potato protein concentrate, which is extracted from the juice residue of the crop, has a similar amino acid composition to milk protein.
While the study focused on potatoes, there are a number of bodybuilders that prove muscle can be built on a balanced, nutritious plant-based diet.
Last year, another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that plant-based protein can compete with chicken when it comes to foods that support muscle-building.