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The best protein sources for muscle building: vegetable or animal?
If you want to build your muscles, you have to exercise regularly. But that alone is not enough. Nutrition also plays an important role here. Scientists have now investigated which proteins are better suited for building muscle - and came up with surprising results.
Heavy dumbbells, sweat and steaks?
When it comes to building muscle, many people quickly think of “tough guys” who lift heavy weights in gyms sweaty and pull themselves in protein shakes, raw eggs and lots of meat. Regular physical training is indeed necessary if you want to strengthen your muscles. However, animal protein is not necessarily, as researchers have now found out.
Natural protein supply is sufficient
Some athletes use protein bars and shakes after training to strengthen their muscles. According to experts, however, this is unnecessary. A natural protein supply is sufficient.
When it comes to which foods are best suited for natural muscle building, many people immediately think of eggs and steaks.
But do proteins from animal sources actually produce more growth than those from vegetable sources? Scientists in the USA have dealt with this question and found astonishing answers.
Protein intake leads to muscle building
According to researchers from the University of Massachusetts and the Hebrew Senior Life Institute, it doesn't matter whether you use lentils or turkey breast, beef or pork, dairy products, soy, or schnitzel as a protein source for muscle growth.
As the experts report in the specialist journal "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition", their study showed that any protein intake in adults leads to muscle and strength building.
To arrive at their results, the researchers evaluated data from the famous “Framingham Heart Study”, which was able to demonstrate well-known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
Origin of the proteins does not matter
The average age of the approximately 3,000 subjects was 40 years. The scientists divided the study participants into different groups based on their eating habits. In particular, the uptake and origin of the proteins were analyzed.
It was shown that people with a higher protein consumption increased both strength and muscle mass - regardless of whether they belonged to the "red meat" or "legumes" group.
The problem with the study is that nutrition was recorded using a questionnaire. This could have caused deviations from the actual eating behavior due to gaps in memory.
In addition, the study did not clarify whether it is actually only the protein that is responsible for the higher physical strength.
Vegetable protein is much healthier than animal protein
In addition to building muscles, a protein-rich diet has other advantages: It can help you lose weight.
If people have a choice, they should choose plant-based proteins for health reasons. Because these are significantly healthier than animal protein, as scientists reported last year.
Another investigation came to the conclusion that vegetable proteins can live longer. The evaluation showed that the intake of animal proteins was associated with a higher risk of death than that of vegetable proteins.
Study author Mingyang Song of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, said: "Our results suggest that people should consider eating more vegetable proteins, and when choosing from sources of animal protein, fish and chicken are probably better choices ”. (ad)