While many plant proteins lack one or more of the essential amino acids required for optimal muscle growth and repair, a new randomized controlled study published in
showed that plant-based proteins can still induce powerful anabolic reactions.
Impact of potato protein on muscle protein synthesis
Researchers at Maastricht University, the Netherlands, found that consuming 30 grams of a potato-derived concentrate after resistance training drastically increased muscle protein synthesis rates levels were not different from responses after eating an equivalent amount of milk protein concentrate.
“The anabolic response to exercise is dependent on the exercise stimulus and the response to exercise is dependent on exercise stimulation and postprandial increase in circulating amino acids.
“In general, plant-based proteins are considered to have less anabolic properties, due to their lower digestibility and incomplete amino acid structure. Our results suggest that consuming 30 g of potato-derived protein will support muscle growth and repair at rest and during recovery from exercise.”
Findings from van Loon’s research group demonstrated that potato-derived protein concentrate powder can be used to increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis both at rest and after exercise recovery. in healthy young men, at rates not different from digesting equivalent amounts of milk protein.
“There is no obvious deficiency in the amino acid composition of potatoes, and consuming 30 g of protein has been shown to strongly stimulate muscle protein synthesis during recovery,” explains Van Loon. after exercise”.
These study results are part of a growing body of literature demonstrating the benefits of potatoes for physical activity and health recovery.1-3 As van Loon explained, “Despite studies Further studies on dose response in broader populations are certainly needed, but these data seem to support the use of potato extract protein concentrate as an effective means to aid in muscle conditioning.”
Research design, strengths and limitations
24 young, healthy males aged 20-28 volunteered to participate in this randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study.
- Participants completed endurance exercise on a seated knee stretcher (randomized to complete with their dominant or non-dominant foot) after a warm-up on the supine leg press.
- Participants rested for 10 minutes after their exercise session. Blood samples were drawn, and muscle biopsies were taken from each leg.
- Immediately after the biopsy, 12 participants ate 30 grams of potato-based protein while the remaining 12 ate an equivalent amount of dairy-based protein.
- Blood samples were collected at 5-hour intervals after oral administration to determine blood levels of amino acids, glucose, and insulin.
- Second and third muscle biopsies were performed to determine the rate of muscle protein synthesis at rest and during post-workout recovery.
The use of a randomized double-blind study design strategy with a unilateral exercise protocol allows the assessment of postprandial muscle protein synthesis in both trained and untrained muscles. Further studies will need to evaluate the dose-response relationship between smaller and larger protein doses on muscle protein synthesis.
Future studies will also benefit from evaluating the effects of plant-based protein concentrates on muscle conditioning after repeated training sessions in larger populations and more diverse.
However, current data show that “there is a lot of room for high-quality plant-based protein in sports nutrition, such as protein from nutrient-rich sources like potatoes,” van Loon said.
This study was supported by the Alliance for Potato Education and Research (APRE). APRE has no influence on the design, conduct, performance, or data analysis of the study following approval of the initial funding proposal.