Table of Contents
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?
Eric Helms, PhD
Eric is currently a Research Fellow at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. His work is focused on training and nutrition interventions that could have implications for bodybuilders, powerlifters and other strength athletes. Eric has many peer reviewed publications and currently has many ongoing research projects and collaborations.
Previously, Eric completed his PhD at AUT. He also holds a BS in fitness and wellness, an MS in exercise science, and a MPhil in sports nutrition.
For the better part of his career he’s been a coach at 3D Muscle Journey, working with drug free strength and physique competitors at all levels. Eric, along with Greg Nuckols and Dr. Mike Zourdos, created the monthly reserach review MASS (Monthly Applications in Strength Sports), which breaks apart some of the recent research carried out that is relevant to strength athletes, bodybuilders and powerlifters. He is also the author of the highly popular Muscle & Strength Pyramids set of books.
- Are plant or animal proteins superior for muscle? (Is this the right question?)
- How do we assess protein “quality”?
- 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?
- MASS Research Review
- Muscle & Strength Pyramids: Training & Nutrition Books
- Sports Nutrition Association – Get Accredited
- Previous episodes with Dr. Helms:
Detailed Study Notes